IWA Bulletin Mid-September 2014

Quicklinks: IWA News / Other News / Work Parties / Events

Top Story 

IWA Welcomes Parliamentary Report on Canal & River Trust

Photo: Big Ben, Houses of ParliamentPhoto: Big Ben, Houses of Parliament

IWA welcomes a report published by the All Party Parliamentary Waterways Group (APPWG) on progress made by Canal & River Trust (CRT) since it became a charity in 2012.

The report recognises the achievements made by CRT in a relatively short amount of time such as its establishment as a charity with a new governance structure, generation of new funding streams and increasing volunteer involvement.

IWA particularly welcomes the focus on the transfer of Environment Agency (EA) waterways to CRT. The report recognises the commitment from CRT, EA and the Government, to the transfer of EA waterways, and recommends that the transfer should take place within the next Parliament.

IWA also welcomed the Group’s recommendation on moorings, which include the implementation of a national strategy to tackle issues with overcrowding, as well as create new moorings to help alleviate the stress on current provisions and reduce the need for enforcement. The Group also asked the Trust to review the present auctioning of moorings in favour of a system that allows for more socio-economic diversity on the Waterways.

CRT was established in 2012 to take over the management of 2,000 miles of waterway from British Waterways.

Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman, was one of the witnesses to the evidence session held by APPWG on Monday 21st July to understand the aims, goals, progress and challenges of the new charity. Other witnesses included Dan Rogerson MP (current Waterways Minister) as well as representatives from CRT, EA, and British Canoe Union. In his evidence, Les spoke strongly about the benefits of transferring the EA navigations to CRT and the need to sort out the mooring problems in areas like London where he stated the problems were causing a break down in the camaraderie that usually exists in the boating community.

Gren Messham, chairman of IWA's Navigation Committee said "We welcome the findings of the report, particularly the clear support for the transfer of EA navigations to CRT, subject to the right funding package. This would address some of the long-term funding issues which currently threaten EA navigations. IWA also supports the Group's recommendation for CRT to implement a national mooring strategy, and the creation of new moorings, to address the increasing number of craft appearing on the waterways. There are significant problems with moorings in some areas particularly London that have to be addressed.  IWA wants to see these problems resolved such that all boaters get a fair opportunity and we see this as an important and immediate task for CRT."

See full APPWG Report  
See summary of APPWG Report

IWA News

Successful Summer of Canal Camps for WRG

Muddy volunteers on the WRG Mon and Brec  Canal Camp, 2014 (photo by Ralph Mills)Photo: Muddy volunteers on the WRG Monmouthshire Canal Camp, 2014 (photo by Ralph Mills)

September saw the end of a very productive Canal Camp summer season with over 2500 volunteer days spent restoring the canals of England and Wales. Based on an average of six hours of volunteering per day that is a staggering 15,000 hours of canal restoration by IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) volunteers.

WRG has supported restoration of derelict inland waterways by co-ordinating volunteers and providing expertise and equipment since its formation in 1970.  Every summer WRG organises over twenty week long working holidays aimed at giving canal restoration projects a ‘big push’ with extra volunteers, technical support and advice.

Over the summer WRG volunteers visited twelve restoration sites. Volunteers worked on the Cotswold Canals helping with restoration work at Bowbridge Lock near Stroud; they created a nature trail on the Driffield Navigation; and installed a new landing stage on the Basingstoke Canal. Volunteers also spent two weeks on the Chesterfield Canal constructing a concrete wall near Staveley Town Lock as well as digging out Ironville Locks on the Cromford Canal to allow for a restoration survey to be undertaken.

One of the highlights of the summer involved making significant progress towards the restoration of Inglesham Lock (at the eastern end of the Cotswold Canals) with WRG volunteers contributing over 300 volunteer days to the project. Volunteers cleared a large volume of silt and debris from the entrance to lock chamber to allow for new stop planks and a sand bag dam to be installed. The work will allow for a full survey of the chamber to be undertaken by one of IWA’s Honorary Consultant Engineers, once the rest of the lock chamber has been cleared.

Over the summer, WRG also ran working holidays on the Shrewsbury and Newport Canals, Uttoxeter Canal, Pocklington Canal, Grantham Canal, Lancaster Canal, Swansea Canal and the Monmouthshire Canals.

Amber Jenkins, WRG’s new Assistant Volunteers Coordinator said "This is my first summer with WRG and I have met so many enthusiastic volunteers who aim to have fun whilst making a big impact restoring canals. It’s amazing to see how much 18 volunteers can get done in one week … from laying a new towpath to installing stop planks and filling 2000 sand bags!"

Amber Jenkins was not the only member of Head Office Staff to get involved with WRG Canal Camps this summer. A total of five members of staff took part and contributed to the hard work undertaken as part of restoration efforts this year. A round-up of their time on various camps can be read in IWA's Blog.

Key Facts from 2014

  • 420 volunteers aged between 18 and 70+ attended a Canal Camp this summer.
  • 83 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students completed their Gold Residential on a WRG Canal Camp.
  • 25 volunteers from mainland Europe volunteered on a Canal Camp this summer (14 from France, four from Italy, one from Norway and six from Spain).
  • WRG’s red minibuses travelled over 1600 miles across England and Wales
  • WRG’s volunteer cooks had a busy summer keeping our army of WRG volunteers fed … making over 2900 evening meals!

See photos from WRG’s summer of volunteering.

Waterways Restoration Raffle Exceeds £5,000

Image: Waterways Restoration Raffle pie chart, showing the number of nominations each restoration project has receivedImage: Waterways Restoration Raffle pie chart, showing the number of nominations each restoration project has received

IWA’s Waterways Restoration Raffle has raised over £5,000 since it was launched on 1st August.

The Waterways Restoration Raffle aims to raise at least £10,000, with 100% of the profits going towards supporting restoration projects run by IWA corporate members, and an IWA volunteer-led moorings improvement project on the Cheshire Ring.

Since the launch of the raffle six weeks ago, the raffle’s proceeds have exceeded £5,000 due to a combination of over 2,000 ticket sales so far, and some generous donations.

Friends of the Cromford Canal has gained the most nominations so far, by actively supporting the raffle and successfully selling tickets with its name pre-stamped into the nomination box.

Cotswold Canals Trust, The Wey & Arun Canal Trust and the moorings improvement project have also been well supported.

A raffle nominations pie chart is available to download from IWA’s website, which shows how many nominations each society currently has for its restoration project.

Eligible restoration groups and their supporters are encouraged to sell raffle tickets with the nomination field pre-populated with the project's name, to promote their cause, increase nominations and raise valuable funds for their project. Participating groups are able to pre-populate the nomination box themselves. To obtain free stocks please contact Toby Gomm at toby.gomm@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783453 ext.611.

The raffle will be drawn on 16th January 2015 at IWA’s Head Office in Chesham.

IWA AGM, 27th September 2014

IWA would like to remind readers that its National AGM is to be held on Saturday 27th September 2014, at The Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek and that all are welcome.

The day will start with an IWA Open Meeting from 10am to 1pm, that will explore the question "How do we engage better with younger people, involve them more and ensure their long term commitment?". This will be followed by Lunch at 1pm (lunch can be provided for £6.50, please see the booking form for details). The formal IWA AGM will take place from 2pm to 4pm including a presentation from the National Chairman, Les Etheridge, followed by a presentation from Gren Messham on HS2 and IWA Award presentations.

The full AGM agenda can be viewed at IWA’s website, along with directions to the venue, the lunch booking form and more information on the morning's Open Meeting.

In addition, there will be a number of further events, including a Canal Community Day, across the weekend (26th-28th September) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Caldon Canal. Full details of the weekend’s programme are available at IWA’s website.

WRG Canal Camps 2015

Team photo from WRG Shrewsbury & Newport Canal Camp, 2014 (photo by Alan Harding)Team photo from WRG Shrewsbury & Newport Canals Camp, 2014 (photo by Alan Harding)

IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group’s (WRG) is looking for waterway restoration projects that would benefit from a Canal Camp in 2015.

The first stage of the process invites waterways groups to express their interest in hosting a Canal Camp. It is appreciated that a definite proposal may not be possible as many of the details depend on funding and other variables, but WRG would still like to hear from any group that would like to be considered for a 2015 Canal Camp at this stage.

The next step would be for potential sites to undergo a site visit, and therefore WRG needs to receive expressions of interest for Canal Camps by 30th September.  

To help WRG get a better picture of the proposed work site hosts are asked to include, where possible:

  • A description of the work
  • Any plans, details of permissions and funding
  • Any photos of the site
  • Details of potential accommodation for WRG volunteers

The WRG Board plans to finalise the Canal Camps Schedule for 2015 at its meeting on the 8th November.

More information on hosting a WRG Canal Camp is available in the document So You Want to Host a Canal Camp? (Microsoft Word, 41.5KB).

For more information, to discuss possibilities or to let WRG know you are interested in hosting a Canal Camp please contact Jenny Black at jenny.black@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783 453 ext. 604.

Additionally, waterways festival oganisers interested in WRG supporting their event should read WRG at Small Festivals (Trailboat & Campaign Rallies).

IWA & CRT Restoration Skills Courses

IWA and CRT are to launch a series of restoration skills courses for members of waterways groups this October. The theme for 2014/15 is Are You Funding Ready? and will focus on getting waterway groups ready for major funding.

The series of courses consists of three events:

  • Are You Funding Ready? Part One: Managing Canal Projects from idea to active waterway
    25th October 2014
    Content will focus on the project planning and management skills required to take a project from initial brainwaves to a deliverable scheme that is likely to be funded. It will work through the key development stages and how these are evaluated by external bodies.
  • Are You Funding Ready? Part Two: Finding the right Governance & Financial Structures for your project
    17th January 2015
    Content will explore the different types of governance and financial management structures that can be used in waterway restoration and the potential benefits, costs and restrictions of each. In so doing it will examine the expectations of major project funders.
  • Are You Funding Ready? Part Three: Keeping the lights on – approaches to making a waterway sustainable
    21st March 2015
    Content will examine the implications of the demands of major funders that a project must be sustainable in the medium to long term. It explores different approaches to achieving long-term sustainability and how these might be implemented.

The courses will be led by Dr Geraint Coles from the Heritage Futures Group at Suffolk Business School, University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich.

For more information, contact either Julia Tinker at julia.tinker@canalrivertrust.org.uk
or Geraint Coles at g.coles@ucs.ac.uk.

To book a place please contact Jenny Black at jenny.black@waterways.org.uk.

Grant Funding

Many organisations and charities offer funding opportunities in the form of grants that can be applied for by going through their specific application processes.

A list of grants that various waterway groups may find useful can be found on IWA’s website.

This month the following grants have been added to the website and are open to applications:

Gannet Foundation, Newsquest

Skinners Company – Lady Neville Charity

Duke of Devonshire’s Charitable Trust

'Help Us to Help You' Waterways Member Survey Prize Draw Results

Included in the last edition of Waterways magazine was the ‘Help us to Help You’ member survey about the magazine. Those who completed the survey and returned it by the specified date and for whom we were able to match to an IWA membership record were entered into a prize draw to win a copy of Waterways World Annual 2014. The winners have now been announced, congratulations to:

Mr & Mrs M Tomlinson, Leyland
Mr M W Lowe, Colne
Mr E J S Hiscocks, Coventry
Dr I M Thompson, Kingswinford
Mr D & Mrs R Wyatt, Chelmsford  

The winners’ prizes should arrive in the post shortly.

IWA would like to thank all who completed the Waterways members survey.

Canal Clean-up Day to be Held in Nottingham Following Last Year's Success

Volunteers pull rubbish from canal bed at 2013's Canal-Clean-up in NottinghamPhoto: Volunteers pull rubbish from canal bed at 2013's Canal-Clean-up in Nottingham

After a successful Canal Clean-up Day in Nottingham last year, IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch plans to once again join forces with CRT to host another of these big clean-ups on Sunday 21st September from 10am to 4pm.

The four and a half mile long canal through Nottingham by-passes the River Trent and consists of the Beeston Cut and the Nottingham Canal, which both date back to the late 18th Century. Last year’s event saw the canal cleaned up between Beeston and Nottingham city centre, so this year volunteers will start at the other end, where the Nottingham Canal joins the River Trent at Meadow Lane, and will work back towards to the city centre.  

Volunteers will be able to join in with litter picking along the towpath, grappling rubbish out of the canal, or helping out on the workboat that will transport the rubbish.  

This is the first of several big clean-up days taking place on wateways across the UK this Autumn. More information about the Nottingham Clean-up is available at IWA’s website, or take a look at IWA’s calendar to see what other events you could get involved with in the coming months.

For further information or to sign up to the Nottingham Canal Clean-up please contact Alison Smedley, IWA Branch Campaign Officer at alison.smedley@waterways.org.uk or on 07779 090915.

IWA Manchester Branch to Support Week Long Vegetation Clearance on the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest Canals

Macclesfield Canal Society and CRT, supported by a number of local groups including IWA Manchester Branch, have planned a six-day operation to clear overgrown vegetation from alongside a 20 mile section of the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest canals.
The clean up will begin on Sunday 14th September on the Bosley to Macclesfield section, continue throughout the week through Bollington, Higher Poynton, Marple, New Mills and finish on Friday 19th September at Whaley Bridge. The aim of this large-scale clean-up operation is to make navigation along the historic canal easier.

New Christmas Card Designs for 2014

Photot: New IWA Christmas card designs for 2015Photo: New IWA Christmas card designs for 2014

IWA has launched five new Christmas card designs for 2014.

Three of the designs feature original paintings from waterway artists, and two of the designs feature photographs that were entered for IWA’s annual calendar competition.

The cards are sold in packs of ten of the same design and are available to buy from IWAShop.com.

Proceeds from the sale of Christmas cards provide a significant source of income for IWA campaigns.

Other News

CRT to Continue Winter Mooring Permit Trial

Winter above Grindley Brook, Llagollen Canal (photo by Alan Wilding)Photo: Winter above Grindley Brook, Llangollen Canal (photo by Alan Wilding)

CRT has announced that following a positive response to last year’s trial changes to the winter moorings system it has decided to offer a continuation of that pilot, with a few additional features.

The permits are designed to cater for those boating in winter when many continuous cruisers choose to keep their boat in one place by purchasing a winter mooring permit between November and March.
Over the winter of 2014/15, boaters will be able to choose:

  • General Towpath Permits: cheaper and more flexible, allowing mooring anywhere on the towpath for a month or more, with a few exceptions.
  • Selected Visitor Moorings: a selection of the most popular sites offered for winter moorings in previous years.
  • Central London Winter Mooring Sites: four locations (West, Central, East 1 & East 2).

In response to feedback from boaters CRT is now offering winter mooring permits of one, two, three, four or five months duration, starting on the first day of the month. There are unlimited numbers of general towpath permits available.
Continuous cruisers will be able to book general mooring permits from 1st October. For continuous cruisers seeking to book selected visitor moorings or central London winter moorings, four and five month permits will be available on 1st October, with two and three month permits on sale on 14th October and one month permits bookable from 1st November. Other boaters will be able to secure winter moorings at selected visitor sites from 1st November.  

From 1st October, winter mooring permits will be available from CRT's website.

In April 2015, the Trust plans to ask boaters for their views about winter moorings and how they could be improved for the following winter.
For more information, including prices, visit CRT's website.

CRT Launches Water Resources Consultation

Photo: Cropredy Lock, Oxford Canal (Roy Heatley)Photo: Cropredy Lock, Oxford Canal (Roy Heatley)

On 9th September, CRT launched a consultation about how it plans to manage essential water resources over the next 35 years.
CRT announced that its hydrology experts are working on a strategy to ensure that its waterway network can meet the challenges of the future and have water where it is needed up to 2050 and beyond. As part of the strategy development, CRT is keen to hear from people and businesses that use the waterways to help provide guidance and practical advice on the strategy.
It is the first time that the CRT has consulted in this way on water resources issues and it wants to seek people’s views on a range of issues including:

  • Reliability of water supply and the CRT’s approach of managing water so that drought closures are implemented, on average, less than once every twenty years.
  • Potential costs of changing this approach to achieve even greater reliability.
  • The possible impact of future pressures such as climate change, funding and changing boating patterns.
  • Assessing the water resource requirements of restoration schemes and new canals.
  • Proposals for managing dredging, side ponds and dealing with lock leakage.

CRT plans to use the responses received during the eight-week consultation to help shape its Water Resources Strategy, which should be published later this year. The strategy is to be reviewed every five years to take account of any changes that may affect either the supply or demand for water.  
The full consultation, including the survey and a summary, can be found at CRT’s website. Responses to the consultation must be submitted by 4th November 2014.

Gas Safety Week 2014

Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) is reminding boaters of the dangers of gas this National Gas Safety Week 2014, which runs from 15th to 21st September.

During Gas Safety Week 2014, BSS is reminding boaters of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning to help avoid a repeat of last winter’s twin fatalities on a small commercial fishing boat in Whitby harbour.

According to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report on fv Eshcol, the sleeping victims died in their bunks from the highly toxic fumes given off by a poorly maintained LPG-burning cooker used incorrectly as a heater to warm the accommodation space. There was no CO alarm to wake them.

Problems start when carbon-based fuels including butane and propane, do not burn completely, and CO is produced as a by-product. CO will spread round the relatively small space of a cabin quickly, unseen and un-smelt. CO can kill in minutes, as it replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, preventing essential supplies to tissues, heart, brain and other vital organs. Even where victims survive severe CO poisoning they can be left with long-term brain damage. However, it is not just high concentrations of CO that are dangerous as breathing-in lower levels of CO over a longer period can lead to memory problems and difficulty concentrating.

There are some common factors in cases of CO poisonings on boats that all boaters should be aware of, including:

  • Faulty equipment
  • Poor or overdue maintenance
  • Misused appliances
  • Early symptoms of poisoning are missed or ignored
  • No working CO alarm

Typically CO is produced when flues are damaged, burners are faulty, there is blocked ventilation or a there is a shortfall of air.

Early signs of poisoning include headaches, a bad temper, nausea, dizziness, feeling tired, confusion, stomach pains and vomiting.

Graham Watts, BSS manager, offered these tips to keep boaters safe when using gas appliances:

  • Have all gas appliances and systems installed competently
  • Have gas appliances checked and serviced routinely
  • Use the equipment correctly
  • Never block the ventilators, without a good oxygen supply CO can be produced
  • Deal with any equipment problems immediately
  • Do not allow bodged repairs and maintenance
  • Install a CO alarm certified to BS EN 50291-2
  • Test the alarm routinely
  • Never remove the batteries
  • Know the signs of CO poisoning and how to react

More information on CO poisoning and staying safe on boats is available at IWA's and BSS’s website.

To find a fitter registered to install LPG systems on boats visit the Gas Safe Register website.

Government Announces Consultation on Inland Waterway Grant Scheme

The Government published a consultation document at the beginning of September seeking views on how it will award grants to organisations who are involved in rescue activities on inland waterways.

As first announced in the Budget in March, the grants will total £1 million per annum over five years and are to be awarded to organisations operating in the UK who are involved in both safety and rescue activities on inland and inshore waters. The scheme is to be established and run by the Department for Transport.

This consultation offers the public the opportunity to comment on several key aspects of the future grant regime. The Government seeks views to nine main questions:

  • Who can apply for funding?
  • How can we ensure funding is awarded to those who can make best use of it?
  • Should the grant be for capital items, operational costs or compensation for VAT/Excise Duty costs?
  • How can we design in recipient sustainability?
  • How we can ensure value for money, should we offer part/joint funding only?
  • What measurements should we use when evaluating applications?
  • Should grant awards be accompanied by a commitment by the recipient?
  • How should the grant funding be distributed to the relevant bodies?
  • Any other thoughts and comments you would like to provide.

Responses to the consultation should be emailed to maritime@dft.gsi.gov.uk by no later than Monday 29th September. The Government plans to consider all responses, which help form its plan for administering and allocating the grant funds in the early part of 2015.

The full consultation document and further information can be found at the GOV.UK website.

Fens Waterway Link Phase Three Route Chosen

The Environment Agency (EA) is progressing the development of the Fens Waterway Link as it continues to identify a preferred route to connect the Black Sluice Navigation at Donnington Bridge with the River Glen.

In 2012/13 EA identified a broad corridor through which the preferred new link would run and started talking to landowners and those with a direct interest within the preferred route corridor. The initial consultation allowed the route options to be narrowed to two options, Route 1 and Route 11.

EA made it clear that proposals relied on the continued cooperation of landowners. Since EA narrowed its option to two routes, a landowner has withdrawn their support of Route 1 and EA has had to remove the route from its development plans for the Fens Waterway Link. Route 1 proposed that the Fens Waterway Link use the South Forty Foot Drain to link the Black Sluice Navigation and the River Glenn, this would have required widening this section of the Drain.

Instead, EA has confirmed that it plans to progress with Route 11. This route proposes that the passage of the Fens Waterway Link takes the South Forty Foot Drain, which would have to be widened, to Surfleet before taking a minor detour along a new channel that would be dug from the Black Hole Drove Pumping Station to the A151 where the channel would enter the River Glen.

When the funding becomes available EA plans to progress Route 11 with affected landowners and consultees to inform the preparation of the business case. The study will define the route for this part of the Fens Waterways Link and help to develop the outline design of the channel and all the structures associated with the new waterway, which will enable EA to determine the construction cost for this link. These plans, including the business case, can also be used as part of applications for funding.

The Fens Waterway Link project involves linking up 240 kilometres of rivers and canals across the Fenland counties. Linking the Black Sluice Navigation at Donnington Bridge to the River Glen at Surfleet is the third phase in the six-phase project. The project started in 2009 with the opening of Black Sluice Lock and was followed by the Boston Barrier scheme, which is now in progress. Later phases will include improvements in the links between Surfleet, Crowland, the rivers Welland and Nene, the Middle Level Navigations and the River Great Ouse.

Ivyhouse Road Lift Bridge Improvements

CRT has begun works to fully automate the Ivyhouse Road Lift Bridge on the Caldon Canal.

Kier Major Works Team, the Trust’s main contractor, began work on safety improvements to Ivyhouse Road Lift Bridge on 5th September. The works, which are expected to last approximately four weeks, will fully automate the bridge with new road barriers and warnings for highways users, removing the need for boaters to move the barriers in the future.

Whilst the contractors carry out this work, the bridge will be in the up position allowing boats to pass through unhindered, removing the need to stop and operate the bridge.

Towards the end of the contract, during the commissioning of the bridge, there will be a need to place a temporary restriction on navigation for one or two days. Further details on this will be issued nearer the date.

New Himalayan Balsam Biological Control Developed

Photo: Himalayan Balsam on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (photo by Alison Smedley)Photo: Himalayan Balsam on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (photo by Alison Smedley)

At the end of August, CABI, began to release a rust fungus at locations in Berkshire, Cornwall and Middlesex as part of field trials to control the non-native, invasive plant Himalayan Balsam using natural means.

Himalayan Balsam is a non-native invasive species that grows along waterway corridors. The plant grows in dense patches and crowds out native plants over the spring and summer before dying back in the winter to leave the ground bare. Where this happens along the banks of canals and rivers there is no vegetation to strengthen the integrity of the banks over the winter and they are left susceptible to erosion. This can cause navigation problems for boaters and an increase in the need to dredge as well as problems for ecosystems in the waterway. EA estimates that the weed occupies over 13% of riverbanks in England and Wales.

Using existing measures, mainly manual removal and some chemical control, EA estimates it would cost up to £300 million to eradicate Himalayan Balsam from the UK.

The release of the rust fungus comes after an eight-year research programme funded primarily by Defra and EA, with contributions from Network Rail, the Scottish Government and Westcountry Rivers Trust. During the course of the research, testing in quarantine laboratories has established that the rust fungus causes significant damage to Himalayan Balsam and does not affect native species. CABI hopes the introduction of the rust fungus will help to restore the natural ecosystem.

Hydroelectricity Generation in Abingdon

After four years of research and planning, Abingdon Hydro has secured permissions to generate hydroelectricity from the River Thames.  

Abingdon Hydro plans to harness the sustainable power of the river with this £1 million scheme, which would generate hydroelectricity without diverting or enclosing the river. Instead, a proportion of the water that flows over the Abingdon Weir will go through two reverse Archimedes screws. Up to 5 tons of water per second can pass through each screw, generating a total of up to 100kW of electrical power.

This project was set up as a community enterprise to make the profits available to support environmental community projects in the town. The public are also being invited to invest in this local green ethical scheme.

More information on the scheme is available at Abingdon Hydro’s website.

IWA & WRG Work Party Reports

This section contains volunteer reports from IWA branches and IWA's Waterway Recovery Group (WRG). IWA branch reports contain information from their latest work parties where volunteers have worked to help maintain their local canals. WRG reports on its Canal Camps and weekend digs to keep readers up to date with the restoration work the group has been undertaking.

September Work Party Weekend on the Chelmer & Blackwater

Photo: New Avant machine at work on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (photo by Roy Sutton)Photo: New Avant machine at work on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation (photo by Roy Chandler)

IWA Chelmsford Branch and IWA’s Essex WRG joined forces over the weekend of the 6th and 7th September to complete a whole host of tasks at Hoe Mill on the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation. With the help of staff from Essex Waterways Ltd. (the Chelmer & Blackwater’s navigation authority and a subsidiary of IWA), volunteers laid 8 tonnes of Type 1 surfacing; created a new rainwater soakaway; built, fitted and painted new eaves, fascias and cladding to the store building; installed new gutters and downpipes on the store building; and gave the stores a good tidy inside.

IWA Northampton Branch Reach the Halfway Mark

After taking a well-earned summer break from its fortnightly work parties in August, IWA Northampton Branch was back in action on the Northampton Arm of the Grand Union Canal on Sunday 7th September. The volunteers tidied up around the sanitation station where the weeds had once again appeared before they finished painting the hut at Lock 1. Work parties are to continue through the autumn with the focus on continuing to paint the locks. Volunteers with the Branch have so far painted just over half of the locks along the arm and are hoping to finish the rest as soon as possible.

Update from the River Gipping

New bridge over the by-wash and weir at Pipps Ford (photo by River Gipping Trust)Photo: New bridge over the by-wash and weir at Pipps Ford (photo by River Gipping Trust)

The River Gipping Trust, supported by IWA Ipswich Branch, has been hard at work on the River Gipping over the summer and completed the new bridge base and abutments over the by-wash and weir at Pipps Ford. The new timber bridge, constructed by volunteers, was then transported and put into place, but this is not the end of the work. Further plans are being developed subject to formal consents being given so keep an eye out for updates.

IWA Volunteering Opportunities

IWA Branch Volunteer Vacancies:

Have a look at the list of volunteer opportunities within local IWA committees. There is a full list of volunteer opportunities within IWA branches.

IWA Branch and Region Magazines

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added to the website since the last edition of the Bulletin:

South East Region - Cargoes - Autumn 2014

Middlesex Branch - Middlesex Matters - Autumn 2014
North Staffordshire & South Cheshire - Knobsticks - Autumn 2014
Chester & Merseyside Branch - The Packet Boat - September 2014
North Riding Branch - The Northern Navigation News - September 2014

The following IWA region and branch magazines have been added in recent weeks:

South West & South Wales Region - Sou'Wester - August 2014

Northampton Branch - Endeavour - August 2014
Warwickshire Branch - Bear Essentials - August 2014
Milton Keynes Branch - Towpath Telegraph - September 2014

Waterway Events

Major IWA events in 2014
26th - 28th September 2014 - IWA's AGM Weekend, Leek

Have you got a waterway event or activity to promote? - Anyone can add details of a waterways event or activity to this area on the website. You don’t even need to register with the website or provide any sort of password. Simply use the upload event form.

See IWA's Events Calendar for a full list of waterway events. You can also search by event type or find out what's going in on your area with the map search.

Upcoming Volunteer/Clean-up Events

14th-19th September Work Party Week - Macclesfield & Upper Peak Forest Canals - Offside Vegetation (Supported by IWA Manchester Branch)
17th September Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
18th September Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th September Work Party - Lapworth (supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
20th September Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
20th September Work Party - Bridgwater & Taunton Canal (IWA West Country Branch)
21st September Nottingham Canal Clean-up (IWA Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Branch)
23rd September Work Party - Northampton (IWA Northampton Branch)
24th September Work Party - River Gipping (supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
25th September Work Party - Banbury (IWA Oxfordshire Branch)
26th September Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)

1st October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
1st October Work Party - Hatton Locks (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
4th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supportd by IWA Ipswich Branch)
4th October Leicester Canal Clean-up (IWA Leicestershire Branch)
4th October Work Party - Chester (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)
4th-5th October Operation Manchester - Cleaning up the canals of Manchester (IWA)
6th October Work Party - Hatton Locks (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
8th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
8th October Work Party - Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal (IWA Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire Branch)
9th Oct Work Party - Caldon Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
12th October Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
15th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
16th October Work Party - Lapworth (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
18th October Work Party - Lapworth (Supported by IWA Warwickshire Branch)
18th-19th October Work Party - Milton Keynes (IWA Milton Keynes Branch)
21st October Work Party - Trent & Mersey Canal (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
22nd October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)
24th October Work Party - Congleton (IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch)
26th October Work Party - Tinsley Marina (IWA South Yorkshire & Dukeries Branch)
28th October Work Party - Northampton Arm (IWA Northampton Branch)
29th October Work Party - River Gipping (Supported by IWA Ipswich Branch)

To advertise your restoration/cleanup events in the bulletin please add details to IWA's events calendar

Upcoming Towpath Walks

21st September Waterside Walk - Stratford (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
25th September Waterside Walk - Wey & Arun Canal (Wey & Arun Canal Trust)
30th September Waterside Walk - Basingstoke Canal (Railway & Canal Historical Society)

5th October Waterside Walk - King's Cross to Hitchcock's Hackney (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
19th October Waterside Walk - Braunston (IWA Warwickshire Branch)
19th October Waterside Walk - Little Venice to Camden (IWA Towpath Walks Society)
23rd October Waterside Walk - Higher Walton (IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch)

To advertise your towpath walks in the Bulletin, please add details to IWA's events calendar

IWA Member Discounts and Special Offers

The following special offers are now available exclusively for IWA members:

  • ABC Boat Hire - 15% discount
  • Airedale Cruising - 10% Discount off skippered day cruises
  • Boatshed Grand Union - 10% discount on brokerage
  • Calcutt Boats - 5% Discount
  • Canal Boat Magazine - 6 Issues for £6
  • CanalCruising.co.uk - 10% discount
  • Channel Glaze - 10% discount on double glazing for boats
  • Cotswold Outdoor - 10% discount
  • Europcar - Special hire rates to IWA members
  • Frangipani SUP Ltd - 10% discount
  • Forge Studio - 10% discount
  • Grand Union Diesel Services - 5% discount
  • IceGripper - 20% discount
  • King's Lock Chandlery - 5% discount
  • Lee Sanitation Ltd. - 10% on orders over £100
  • Marine Megastore Ltd. - 15% discount
  • Midland Chandlers - 5% discount
  • Paper Wizard - 15% discount
  • River Canal Rescue - up to 15% discount
  • RoadPro - 5% discount
  • UltimateBerths.com - Free Listing
  • Willowbridge Marina - 10% discount on chandlery purchases and services in the yard 
  • Worcester Marine Windows Ltd - 5% discount
  • Wyvern Shipping Co. Ltd - 10% discount on published prices
  • Zead - Free postage and accessories

Please note: All discounts and offers are entirely at the organisers' discretion.

To see details of how to take advantage of these offers, please go to www.waterways.org.uk/support_us/members_area/member_discounts_special_offers_public

For IWA members who receive a printed copy of this bulletin in the post, please contact the membership team on 01494 783453 for the details of the offers.

Members can also support IWA with a Narrow Boat magazine subscription

Boat Insurance

IWA has an arrangement with insurers Navigators & General and River Canal Rescue that provides top quality boat insurance and access to the basic waterway rescue service for boat owners, with the added benefit that every policy taken out and subsequently renewed helps IWA, and thus furthers our charitable work for the waterways. 

See more information about the IWA insurance scheme for boaters

Contact Us

IWA Head Office, Island House, Moor Road, Chesham, HP5 1WA
01494 783 453
Bulletin is edited by Stefanie Preston


Read Bulletin in an alternative newsletter format:
Download PDF (1.9MB)
Read online (via Issuu)

Mystery Photo Challenge

Think you know which junction is in this 1970 photo? Take part in the mystery photo challenge and submit your answer here.

See the answer and those that guessed correctly for the previous mystery challenge!

IWA News

Other News

IWA Work Parties

Other Information

Recent Blog Posts

Head Office Staff Get Outdoors and Dirty

Roy Sutton - Volunteer of the Month September 2014

Historic Boat Spotting Guide

Desktop Calendar

Download the IWA September Desktop Calendar